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Pictured Rocks

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S: Pictured Rocks 2011

FC: Pictured Rocks 2011

1: This book chronicles our amazing 4 day trip to Pictured Rocks. We saw breathtaking sights, beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear waters and met some great people.

2: Today we began our trip to pictured rocks. We were on the road by 815 am and managed to make it in exactly 7 hours despite several pit stops for restroom/stretch/ gas breaks (I think I made up for lost time by speeding most of the way). I can't believe I drove all the way there! Managed to by eating a lot, singing along shamelessly to various pop songs, annoying Robert with country music, listening to 97.1 the ticket both in Detroit and in the UP thanks to 3g, and playing the radio game (can't believe Robert won, twice!) | We checked into the Superior Motel around 330. It's quite nice. We relaxed for a bit and ate dinner at the Navigator, right by the pier, and got all you can eat fish fry. Oh my god- we both felt like we were going to explode from all the food. After dinner, we took a short walk (to digest the food) around downtown Munising. | August 19th, 2011 | Nice random lady offered to take our picture

3: Miner's Castle | Grand Island Light House | Our Boat facing Grand Island | We were worried that the storms would ruin the sunset cruise but it managed to pass right below and above the shoreline and we never got hit! The cruise was awesome! We sat on the top right corner of the boat and saw some amazing sites of the shoreline. The way the setting sun reflects the colors of the rocks is breathtaking. We saw the big landmarks up to chapel rock. We even got to go into a cove because the water was so calm. Saw a kayaker set up camp in a small and shallow cave/beach only accessible via lake (very illegal). We learned some cool things about the area from our trusty captain. On our way back after the sunset we could see heat lightening just beyond downtown. It was so cool! We made it back just in time to get Robert his daily dose of Dairy Queen.

4: Bridal Veil Falls

5: mineral deposits make the colorful streaks in the rock

6: Grand Portal

7: Lover's Leap

8: The boat took us inside a cove | Bear Feet | Looks like ships lined up | Copper deposit

10: The setting sun appeared to set the rocks on fire

14: Chipmunks: The only wildlife in the UP | The morning started with a quick breakfast buffet at Sydney's Restaurant. Then we stopped by the Visitors Center to map out our day hike. We drove 20 minutes to the Chapel Trail. It took about 3 miles to get to the rock and beach. Along the way we saw the Chapel Falls. We got up close to the edge of the waterfall- It was very high, even though the pictures don't show it.

15: Chapel Falls

16: Robert taking a picture of me

17: Fallen Tree= Kodak Moment

18: Roots hanging around | Chapel Rock

19: We made it to Chapel Rock around 1pm. It is a lot bigger than I thought it'd be! Then we had our PP(J) sandwiches for lunch on Chapel Beach. We sat on some tall rocks by the mouth of the river feeding into Lake Superior. After, we walked along the clear blue and green water to see CR at a lower point.

20: Chapel Beach

22: We strayed from the loop trail and hiked 1.5 miles to Spray Falls, which continued along the Lakeshore trail.

23: Top of Spray Falls

25: Spray falls drops far down into Lake Superior. After a little break to admire the Falls, we hiked it back to the Loop trail. | It's actually very far down

27: Silly Robert | Thoughtful Kerrie

28: The biggest surprise was the number of huge, bare, sandy cliffs to look out. Some looked like lonely sandy beaches...with 200 foot drops to the lake! I'd slowly make my way to the edge to look over the edge. Turns out i'm kinda afraid of heights, but it didn't stop me from looking!

30: Trying to get reception | Tired

32: Apple Break | Slightly scared

33: We saw the Portal and Lovers Leap again along more sandy beach cliffs of doom.

34: Clear waters

36: Not sure what those are....

37: Lots of walking in the woods between cliff views. It was strange, the trail throughout the day changed from hard dirt trail with high trees, to sand and cliffs, to evergreens and soft hollow earth.

39: After 4 more miles we stopped by what we thought was mosquito beach. The area was GORGEOUS but we thought it odd that it was all carved out rock cascading down in varying browns and grays with large areas of water run off. Then we continued along the trail and found the ACTUAL mosquito beach with sand! Nice, but I liked our fake mosquito beach better :)

40: A fine Dam

41: We made it to Mosquito River and saw a small waterfall, which was cute, but we thought it was disappointing. But then we continued along the river and as we heard louder water flowing, we realized that we screwed up again! The main part of the falls was much bigger! We made it back to the lot by 8ish.

42: Our Motel Room | The room has an up north cabin feel to it with wood and wildlife decor which I like a lot. Cons: there is an odd baby wipe scent to the room and there is a huge mirror on the wall facing the bed.

43: We got pizza from Main Street Pizza and now Robert is PASSED OUT. Our feet are sore, our backs aching, but our 12.5 mile hike was totally worth it! We had perfect weather today, sunny, high in the low 70s. Thankfully, mosquito river, falls, and beach did not actually attack me with the dreadful insects. I didn't get bit once! Thank you OFF.

44: Sunday August 21, 2011 Today we woke up late morning and, as predicted, our legs were very sore! We watched the radar for signs of the impending storm that never came as we ate some PP(J) for brunch. Then we headed to Munising Falls before the kayaking trip. Loved the falls. It’s probably our favorite of the trip. Its huge and you can walk behind it halfway up! | We are right there!!

45: Munising Falls

46: We decided to change our kayaking trip to Monday because the wind and waves were too big. Instead, we took a little 40 mile road trip to Au Sable.

47: First, we walked to the lighthouse, about a 3 mile hike roundtrip. Along the way we saw the wood remnants of old shipwrecks from the 1800-1900s. We also saw up close why we couldn’t go out to the rocks. The waves were 6 feet high! There were white caps as far as the eye could see. And the 20 mph winds were loud and cold! It only got to maybe 71 degrees all day. Very glad we dressed in layers.

48: Au Sable Light House

49: As we approached the house we passed by a couple we met on the day hike who Robert helped find their bearings! We did a tour of the lighthouse with Melva Price who was very sweet, slightly forgetful, and told us about a murder mystery of the lighthouse on Grand Island. | 98 Steps to the top

51: A View From the Top

54: Next, we went to Sable Falls. The trail led to a beach where we sat and watched the waves crash in.

57: Kensington Lake

58: Log Slide | I'm down there! | Decrepit log cabin | Robert: It's not that far down at all

59: Sand Dunes | We started our drive back to Munising with a stop by Log Slide, a giant sand dune that people run down and climb back up. Robert opted out of the climb. So I walked - alone- down the dune to the beach. About halfway down, after a patch of large rocks in the sand, I realized it was going to be a really, really, really long time to climb back up and almost chickened out going the rest of the way, but I kept going. Robert kept a good watch with the camera from above, until I was a dot to him and he called his grandma nowicki as I walked the beach. It was a gorgeous view. To my right, the giant sand dunes. To my left, a large sandy beach with the cliffs farther back, in front, wavey Lake Superior, and behind, a wall of sand. | I considered it either a beautiful private beach all to myself, or a massive prison cell! After about 10 minutes of soaking it all in, I started the trek back up. It took a good 20 minutes in all with many pit stops- and boy did my calves hurt! But I’m glad I did it! We made it back to Munising around 8 and ate subway (the Chinese restaurant was closed ) and Robert did his fantasy footfall draft. I passed out shortly after ridding sand off my body.

60: Miner's Castle

61: Monday August 22nd, 2011 | This morning we packed up our stuff, checked out of the motel, and headed to Miners Castle. It had some very nice lookouts.

63: Next, we headed to Miners Falls. I worked on my photo skills with a longer exposer time to get the waterfall effect. Afterwards, Robert fed Mr Chippy some trail nuts in the parking lot. As you can see, Robert was very intense about the whole thing!

64: Scenic lookout point

65: Next, we drove to Christmas (everything is Christmas themed- aka mom’s heaven) to waste some time before kayaking. We stopped by a lookout point and took some pictures of the bay. Then we met up with our guide Mark. Turns out he’s Mr. Shotwell’s nephew. Mr. Shotwell is a chemistry/football/softball coach at IKE. Steven had him for chemistry and he was the worst- he’s kind of notorious for being a rough teacher. Robert had him for JV football. Anyways, Mark was a really cool guide, very friendly and informative. On our way to Miner’s Beach the truck started making horrid noises and the driver’s back wheel looked like it was going to come off. Turns out 3 of the 5 lugnuts had come off. After some tightening of the remaining two and some praying to the gods for good luck, we made it to the beach on time. The waves were much better but still noticeable, as we were leaving the beach area I became aware that I might get seasick and my stomach never felt quite right for the remainder of the trip.

66: Kayaking! | Our guide, Mark!

67: We're a tandem

68: Robert and I went in a tandem kayak, me in the front as the “power” and him in the back “steering” (I quote that b/c maybe times we’d be totally off course hehehe). We saw the rocks from a whole new vantage point and super up close. I took pictures with a waterproof camera- we’ll have to wait and see how those turn out. But seeing the vivid colors, details of running water, caverns at the bottom of the rocks- was amazing. We passed by bridal veil falls (which was dry at the time), 3 week old collapsed rocks, and another shipwreck. We made it about 3 coves in before turning back.

69: Deliciousness in a pastie! | On the Mackinaw Bridge! | Mark told us of a better way to head back home via 28- 77- 2- 75 instead of 28 to 75. You can see the shoreline and shave 30 minutes off the drive. He also told us what pasties were- not hot doughnuts as Robert thought, but basically meat pot pies- a pretty big thing in the UP. He suggested Muldoons, and to muldoons we went. Robert finally felt seasick on the way back to shore around 4, but managed to drive us to muldoons. We bought two meat pasties and shared an apple dessert pastie outside. Two thumbs up!! We were on the road by 5:25. I took the first leg of the trip. Mark was right, MI 2 was much better a drive. We switched off after sunset (I hate driving at night) and made it home by 1130. Overall, this was an amazing trip! We’d love to come up again and see grand island (which hosts michigan’s largest population of black bears! hehehe)

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  • By: kerrie
  • Joined: about 7 years ago
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  • Title: Pictured Rocks
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  • Started: about 5 years ago
  • Updated: almost 5 years ago

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